Research supports the idea that servant leadership fosters more productive employees. And it makes sense, if you think about it. Imagine a guy who waters six seeds until each becomes a tomato plant; it is just a bit of effort and support for a big payoff. Servant leadership works the same way. In an article for Entrepreneur, Thomas Smale shares six main principles of servant leadership:
- Building community
Empathy is the foundation of servant leadership. The ability to both identify and actually care about employee needs and emotions goes a long way. Awareness connects closely with empathy in this regard; leaders need to be making explicit efforts to take a pulse on how people are doing. They also need to be receptive to problems in their leadership style or problems in the makeup of the organization.
Servant leaders understand how their employees tick, which makes them better persuaders. They know the right buttons to push to motivate people to accomplish things that they thought could not be done. In general, servant leaders see a bigger picture and work toward it with their teams:
Servant leaders empower their staffs to handle quotidian matters, freeing themselves to dream a better future for the team and the company. This doesn’t make the servant leader an impractical daydreamer — just the opposite. An effective servant leader will have a deep understanding of every aspect of the business, but won’t allow himself or herself to be distracted from long-term goals. Feeling this freedom is also a good sign that you have competent employees whom you can trust.
For further thoughts, and for examples of various CEOs who practice each of these principles, you can view the original article here: https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/307923